France Is Pushing to Bring in Vaccine Pass in First Half of January
(Bloomberg) -- France will require that people are fully vaccinated to enter bars, restaurants and cultural venues starting in early January to help slow the spread of the omicron strain of Covid-19.
The vaccine pass will come into force from the first two weeks of the new year, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said in a statement to reporters on Tuesday. Under the new system, a negative test will no longer be an alternative to vaccination.
“We’ve got no time to lose in the face of the omicron variant,” Attal said. “The forecasts are worrying, it’s true. We’re entering an area of turbulence, it’s certain. But we have the weapons to fight.”
The government will hold a special cabinet meeting on Monday to discuss a draft bill including the vaccine pass, which would enable parliament to consider it between Christmas and the New Year.
The government had previously envisaged changing the existing health pass, which is also valid on proof of a negative test, to a vaccine pass by the end of January. The new rules will require people to show their vaccination status is up-to-date, including booster jabs.
More than one in three cases of the coronavirus in Paris appear to be omicron, with the variant probably accounting for more than one in 10 infections countrywide, Attal said.
“The situation in hospitals in strained, with nearly 16,000 people hospitalized and more than 3,000 in intensive care,” he said.
The comments come days after Prime Minister Jean Castex called for curbs on outdoor revelry on New Year’s Eve in a bid to limit infections.
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